New constitution's obstacles target Rajapaksas - G. L. Peiris

The chair of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has accused the Sri Lankan government of drafting a new constitution with hatred towards the Rajapaksas and of including provisions that threaten national security and interests. “This is not the way to draft a new Constitution by targeting a particular group of people. No Constitution drafted in that manner is going to stand the test of time,” SLPP G. L. Peiris said, according to the Daily Mirror. Mr Peiris criticised provisions in the constitution that meant Mahinda Rajapaksa could not even be a ceremonial president - the position proposed...

22 arrested in Jaffna accused of gang violence

Sri Lankan police report that twenty-two Tamils have been arrested in Jaffna over recent days, accused of being involved in gang violence in the region. A special committee has been formed to control the violence, Jaffna's Senior Inspector General of Police, Jeyasunthara said at a meeting of the Jaffna Civil Security Committee today. The arrests have been criticised by civil society groups and participants of the meeting however, who accused the police of re-arresting Tamils who had been previously arrested of minor crimes without any proof.

Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks to be insured under special scheme

Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks are soon to be insured under a special scheme, the Sunday Times reports. The insurance scheme would cover monks serving in state institutions, teaching in government schools and students in the monastic colleges. The proposal has been submitted for approval to the Sri Lankan cabinet by the Buddha Sasana Ministry.

Sri Lanka's unemployment up in first quarter of 2018

Sri Lanka’s unemployment has risen to 4.5% in the first quarter of 2018 according to a survey by the state statistics office. The unemployment level rose to 4.5%, up from 4.1% a year earlier. The Department of Census and Statistics claims the drought may be to blame for the dip in the number of people on work, particularly agricultural workers. See more from Economy Next.

India among countries considered for visa-free entry to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is considering granting visa free entry to visitors from ‘tourist friendly nations’, including India, the country’s tourism minister said on Monday. China and some West Asian and European countries are also being considered. Over 384,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka last year. The Sri Lankan government said it wanted to increase that number to 440,000.

Tensions in Kokkuvil after youths injured by SL police

There was a tense situation in Potpathi, Kokkuvil yesterday after two Tamil youths, A Deniswaran and Sujivan, were injured by Sri Lankan police motorbikes. Residents condemned the police, accusing them of driving straight in front of the youths who were also on motorbikes at the time, causing the youths to veer off and crash into the police motorbikes. Police officers were seen to be kicking the injured youths, before residents intervened and carried the two youths to Jaffna Teaching Hospital. Sri Lankan police have denied that they attacked the youths and have accused the youths of driving...

Karunanidhi's health declines further

The health of the incumbent Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president Kalaignar M Karunanidhi has deteriorated, the executive director of the hospital said in a statement today. The 94-year old five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu was admitted into the Kauvery hospital branch in Chennai’s Alwarpet after contracting a UTI and high fever on July 28. Since his initial hospitalisation, attributed to "age related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters," several prominent politicians, including Indian PM Modi, INC chief Gandhi, Tamil Nadu CM...

Swiss Justice Minister visits Sri Lanka to review reconciliation and rule of law

Switzerland's Federal Councillor for the Department of Justice and Police, Simonetta Sommaruga arrived in Sri Lanka this week on a four day visit. "She is keen to see for herself Switzerland’s activities in various areas such as reconciliation, dealing with the past and strengthening of the rule of law in the country," the FDJP said in a statement. Ms Sommaruga is to meet with the Sri Lankan president, prime minister and the leader of the TNA, R Sampanthan. "An exchange with the National Human Rights Commission and the Office on Missing Persons is also planned. These two independent state...

Sri Lankan navy arrests fleeing asylum seekers

The Sri Lankan navy announced it had arrested a group of asylum seekers, who had attempted to flee the island this week.

Former Sri Lankan Air Force officer arrested with unregistered pistol

A former pilot with the Sri Lankan Air Force was arrested at Colombo airport this morning, after he was found to be carrying an unregistered pistol.